August is upon us and many of us would normally be preparing to get our children back to school. As COVID-19 continues to challenge the Metroplex, it has created challenges for many school districts as well.
In Northlake, we will likely have two different experiences, at least as of the time that I am writing this. Northwest ISD was recently included in a forced delay to return to the physical classrooms by the Tarrant County Health & Human Services Department. They intend to have 26 days of deep remote instruction and learning beginning on August 20th and hopefully returning to the classroom by September 28th. Argyle ISD still plans on returning to the classroom on schedule on August 17th barring any unforeseen changes. Whichever district you attend, I have seen nothing but the continual focus from both districts working to create a safe environment for our children to return to.
July was a busy month in Northlake for the Town Council. The Council and staff have been actively working on the budget for next year. The Council was very excited to have the opportunity enhance our homestead exemption from 5% all the way to the state maximum of 20%. The average tax savings is $200, and that will be reflected on this January’s tax bill for homestead properties in Northlake.
During the entire summer, we have been challenged with water usage nearing or exceeding our subscription. The Town has had to increase its subscription once already this summer and with your help, we can hopefully avoid increasing our subscription again. The Town is still operating at a Stage 1 conservation level. It is important that all customers observe their scheduled watering days and fine tune their irrigation systems where possible. Any water running off your property or into the street is an indication that you are overwatering.
By the time this article is published, residents will have received notification of upcoming water rate changes. Northlake has not increased residential water rates since 2009, but over the past 11 years costs have continued to increase. In just the last 7 years, costs for the town have gone up 30%. The Council desired to create a self-sustaining water system without using taxpayer dollars to fund it. This enables Council to use your tax dollars to keep funding and enhancing critical services such as our police and road projects. The Council made sure that even with these rate changes we still have one of the lowest water rates in surrounding towns and cities. To help customers plan for these changes, we have included an informational insert with the current water bill and have added a bill calculator to the town’s website.
Northlake is growing fast, but in order to get future resources allocated to us, we need our residents to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census. Our response rate is currently lower than the towns surrounding us, and Census takers will begin visiting non-responsive households in August. They are legally allowed to go door to door, and if you want to avoid this, please go to 2020CENSUS.GOV and get counted today!
Finally, if you have the need to visit Town Hall, please know that the Town is requiring masks for those entering our facilities. We have recently enhanced our online bill pay to minimize traffic in and out of Town Hall. Council also decided recently to absolve fees related to online bill pay. Please remember to support our local area businesses as they have adopted recommended safety measures and have enhanced their online ordering capabilities for your safety and convenience.